UPDATED: Wednesday April 29 2009 at 2:12 p.m.
Rumors have been flying in Santa Clarita regarding two Santa Clarita schools and potential cases of the swine flu.
The facts: As of Wednesday afternoon, no cases of swine flu have been confirmed regarding any local resident.
Dr. Jonathan Fielding, Director of Public Health for Los Angeles County said today that there are still no confirmed cases of swine flu in any part of Los Angeles County, including Santa Clarita.
He also noted that panic has spread dramatically, causing more people to report symptoms. This was also aided by the fact that normal flu cases are occurring with similar symptoms. As a result of this, he said that County health officials will no longer be reporting potential swine flu cases. Instead, only confirmed cases will be made public.
This hysteria was seen first hand in Santa Clarita this morning, as Los Angeles media reported that two schools in Santa Clarita were under investigation for swine flu outbreaks. That information was false.
Four local individuals were tested for swine flu, however they have been cleared.
KHTS has spoken with representatives from all four elementary districts, Saugus, Newhall, Sulphur Springs and Castaic, as well as the Hart School District, which covers all of our valley’s Junior High and High Schools. According to these officials, there have been no schools under investigation by the Health Department.
Newhall School District has sent out a connect-ed message to parents reiterating this information, and the Hart District is preparing to do the same.
Additionally, KHTS has contacted 36 preschools and private schools in Santa Clarita,including Our Lady of Perpetual Help school, and none of them have reported any swine flu cases either. The full list of preschools and private schools we contacted is available at the end of this article.
The city of Santa Clarita is also reporting that no swine flu cases have been confirmed locally.
“There are no, and I repeat no cases of swine flu in the Santa Clarita valley,” said Gail Ortiz, spokesperson for the City. “Any tests that have been done have come back negative.”
Ortiz added that the City is in hourly contact with Los Angeles County Health officials and they will report any changes in the local scenario immediately.
Tony Bell, spokesman for Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael Antonovich told KHTS that panic is unwarranted at this time, since County Health officials are just doing what they should be doing in this situation.
“They’ve been doing preliminary investigations throughout the County, and that’s a good thing, we want them to investigate” Bell said. “But as of now, we’ve got no confirmed cases of swine flu. We may have flu-flu, because the flu happens this time of year. The hysteria is really unwarranted at this point.”
Like all local agencies, Bell says that the County is keeping a close eye on the investigations.
“We’ll be the first to know,” he said. “But at this point this is not a very serious situation. This is a situation where the panic may be more dangerous than what everyone is panicking about.”
As a local media outlet, KHTS will continue to report on this matter as facts are released.
Here’s a list of the preschools we contacted in Santa Clarita that are not under investigation by County health officials.
- Annisa’s Jumpstart
- Bethlehem Lutheran
- Canyon Country Preschool
- Canyon Vista
- Children’s World
- Creative Years
- Great Beginnings
- La Petite Academy (Valencia)
- La Petite Academy (Saugus)
- Little Light
- Little School of Music
- Little Shepherds
- Magic Carousel
- Mountain View
- New World Montessori
- Our Lady of Perpetual Help school
- Parent’s 1st Choice
- Rainbow Promise
- Rise and Shine
- Sand Castles
- SC Little People
- Simmons School
- Small World
- Stepping Stone
- St. Stephen’s Preschool
- Teddy Bear University
- Town and Country Farm School
- Tutor Time
- Volunteers of America, Old Orchard Head Start